Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust has two main sites, Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital. The The Trust employs more than 3,400 people providing healthcare services to around 370,000 people from Colchester and the surrounding area of north east Essex. Colchester General Hospital opened in 1984 and is one of Essex’s largest facilities. Their care covers 596 inpatient beds, 44 maternity beds and 12 critical care beds (excluding A&E).
Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust successfully oversaw the investment and overhaul of the mechanical and electrical infrastructure of the site in 2012. A key objective of this project was to upgrade and improve the resilience and testing regime of its backup generation. When a demand response event is activated by National Grid, the Hospital's diesel generators synchronise to the mains and export spare capacity back to National Grid. This is all performed using a fully automated, internet protocol solution.
Assessment and design
- KiWi Power’s engineers visited the sites to meet with facilities management and operations staff to assess existing systems and identify appropriate assets for use in demand response.
- The Trust has multiple generation assets, spread across different units. It has an existing parallel agreement with the distribution network to run the generators to offset significant load. This is managed by up to five low voltage diesel units of different capacities spaced around the hospital at key connection points.
- A detailed project management plan, installation assessment and risk assessments were created for the initial phase of installation and control.
- KiWi Power designed a solution allowing the remote control of the generators and notification of the relevant members of staff in the event of a demand respond event.
- KiWi Power worked with Colchester Hospitals’ existing contractors in order to bring the hospital online in a structured, phased way.
- KiWi Power installed proprietary demand response, one minute real time metering hardware which integrates with onsite voltage metering systems.
- KiWi Power used both existing programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and installed new control solutions to enable the increase in capacity as new sets came online. This enabled full remote control of the generators without any site intervention or disruption.
- Data is collected wirelessly from the meter through pulsed outputs at different points and reported via KiWi Power’s control centre to National Grid.
- When a demand response event is activated by National Grid, the diesel generators synchronise to the mains and export spare capacity back to National Grid. This is all performed using the fully automated, internet protocol solution provided by KiWi Power.
- This process was rigorously tested and a full onsite training programme was completed prior to going live.
- The entire project was delivered within time, quality and cost parameters.